Dancing With the Stars’ popularity isn’t all just because of the ballroom moves. Every season there is drama, conflict and adversity, and most often it is between the partners themselves. ABC has quite the feat to overcome when it comes to casting every new season of the hit series, but then there is also the trouble of matching up each pro with a celebrity. Fans have watched as these partnerships have turned into wonderful friendships and relationships, but sometimes the chemistry was just not there. With stressful situations, tempers always flare, but these 14 Dancing With the Stars partners were without a doubt the worst matched personalities on the show, whether they were successful or not.
14. Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Vanessa Lachey
Ever since his very first season of Dancing With the Stars, Maksim Chmerkovskiy has had a reputation of being one of the toughest and most blunt pros on the show. He has never tip-toed around the sensitive feelings of some of his celebrity partners and that approach hasn’t worked well with some of them. In season 25, Maks was partnered with Vanessa Lachey and it didn’t take long for rumors to fly that their lack of chemistry was creating incredible problems in rehearsals. After Maks sat out of one week of the competition due to a “personal issue” sources quickly stated it was because he found it so hard to work with Vanessa. “Their personalities have completely clashed and they really don’t get along off set,” a source said, adding the two “can’t find middle ground.” Sources from behind the scenes also said the two couldn’t stop clashing because of their “big personalities.” After his absence, Maks publicly apologized to Vanessa and the pair continued to compete until they were eliminated, landing in seventh place.
13. Val Chmerkovskiy and Elisabetta Canalis
After a couple dancing appearances thanks to his brother, Maksim, Valentin Chmerkovskiy finally joined Dancing With the Stars as a pro in season 13. For his first season, Val was paired with the gorgeous Italian actress and model Elisabetta Canalis who was at the time best known for having dated George Clooney. Unfortunately for Val and Elisabetta, it couldn’t have been a worse pairing. Although the two publicly shared nothing but gracious things about each other, their rehearsal fight was shown and it was clear the two had no dancing chemistry. In his memoir “I’ll Never Change My Name,” Val opened up about that first season and pairing where he admitted how awful they were as dance partners and it wasn’t surprising when they were eliminated second.
12. Sharna Burgess and Antonio Brown
Sharna Burgess has been one of the most optimistic and lovable pros since she signed on to Dancing With the Stars in season 16, that is why it was surprising when she spoke about her difficulties with her season 22 partner, NFL player Antonio Brown. Following their season, Burgess was asked who her most difficult partner has been and she said it was Brown. She added that working with him was like a “roller coaster,” and admitted they had trouble finding their chemistry. She added that she thought he had what it took to win, but unfortunately their problems in the beginning set them back. “Our chemistry and our balance was so off in the very beginning that none of our best traits were coming off on camera. It sort of, just came off a little bit awkward. We found our groove by like, week five, but by then people had already picked their favorites, so it was too late,” Burgess said. Now, the two are good friends but, on the dancefloor, they just weren’t a good match.
11. Edyta Śliwińska and Geraldo Rivera
It has been obvious to longtime Dancing With the Stars fans that Edyta Sliwinska has had some of the toughest celebrity partners and no matter how hard she worked it was difficult for her to not land in the bottom. Undeniably, however, her season 22 pairing was the worst when she was matched up with reporter and talk show host Geraldo Rivera. Rivera made fans, and it seems Edyta, cringe with his awful dance moves and no matter how hard she tried, he didn’t seem to want to take the competition or her seriously. Unsurprisingly the two were the first eliminated on the season.
10. Kym Johnson and David Hasselhoff
Although Kym Johnson never said anything about working with “The Hoff” herself, there were many rumblings of what “a mess” he was on set of Dancing With the Stars. Johnson and David Hasselhoff were paired up for season 11 in 2010 and, according to those on set, “His people would call staffers 20 times a day, changing rehearsal times, canceling shoots and even suggesting things like camera angles and poses.” They added, “At first, Kym thought getting Hoff as a partner was quite a coup, but then quickly realized it was a mistake. She is so disappointed!” Turns out his diva behavior didn’t work well and the pair were eliminated first.
9. Mark Ballas and Kim Kardashian
Many forget that back in 2008 before Kim Kardashian was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, she was known as the best friend of Paris Hilton and was just starting to make a name for herself. She may have been a lot of things, but a dancer was not one of them, and this took its toll on the ever charming and patient Mark Ballas. Their relationship didn’t get as bad as many others, but he did say, “She wasn’t the best dancing partner […] Dancing was not her thing, but she’s a great girl.” Her poor moves didn’t get her too far and Kardashian and Ballas were eliminated third in season 7.
8. Derek Hough and Jennifer Grey
Derek Hough has a lot of patience and often gets paired with stars with hidden dancing talents. When he was paired with Jennifer Grey, who is best known for the film Dirty Dancing, expectations for the pair were high in season 11 of the show. However, it was obvious the stress got to them both. Their rehearsals showed the toll it took on them as Jennifer often broke down and had to stop, and Hough would sometimes sneer at her for “wasting time” which was especially uncharacteristic of him. Although it seems Grey gave Hough his biggest challenge in a partner, the two were able to work together all the way to a Mirror Ball trophy win!
7. Artem Chigvintsev and Mischa Barton
When it was announced that Mischa Barton would be joining Dancing With the Stars for 2016’s season 22, it marked her first major TV appearance since she ended her time on The O.C. The built-up anticipation was quickly deflated as Barton was unable to click with her pro partner Artem Chigvintsev. To many it seemed she put a little too much on him without making as much of an effort herself, saying, “I was relying on you to make it a positive experience. I can’t do another week of this.” She really didn’t, however, as the pair was the second couple eliminated that season.
6. Tony Dovolani and Kate Gosselin
Many did not know who reality star Kate Gosselin was when she appeared on season 10 in 2010, but those who did knew that her partner Tony Dovolani was not going to have an easy time. On her own reality series such as Jon & Kate Plus 8 and Kate Plus 8, Kate Gosselin became known for her bad attitude, and it became a problem between the two. Their bickering and Dovolani’s exasperation was caught on camera many times in the rehearsal scenes until eventually, he threatened to quit. Luckily, he didn’t have to put up with it for too long as the pair was eliminated fourth.
5. Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley were actually good friends when they appeared on the 12th season of the show in 2011, but things quickly soured between them afterward. According to reports, Alley’s belief in Scientology was at the root of the problem, with Maks saying, “She stopped getting along with me. We had a great relationship… But I got a message now that I am associating with other people that she can’t be associated with, I am no longer to be spoken with, and sorry, but it is what it is.” He added, “I’m not judging people by their religion. I’m Jewish. I don’t really believe in science fiction, but whatever.”
4. Ashly DelGrosso and Master P
The partnership between Ashly DelGrosso and Master P got off on the wrong foot right away when he stepped in as a last-minute replacement for his son Lil Romeo who was supposed to be the season two contestant but had to back out because of an injury. DelGrosso had nothing but struggles with Master P, including his refusal to wear dance shoes or show emotion. The biggest problem, however, was his disinterest in practicing, meaning by week 4 he had practiced around 20 hours while many of the others were already over 100 hours in practice time. Ashly dealt with his poor attitude for four weeks before the pair was finally sent packing.
3. Kym Johnson and Jaleel White
Many fans have noted that it seems some pros have had a lot of good luck when their celebrity partners were cast, and others not so much, and Kym Johnson seems to be one of those who gets the “difficult” partners quite often. One of the worst for her was without a doubt Family Matters alum Jaleel White in season 14. During one of their rehearsals, the actor reportedly lost it on Johnson for a mistake! According to those who were there, White stepped on Johnson’s foot and when she said “ouch” he got angry and called her a “baby” and an “idiot.” As Johnson became upset, fellow contestant Donald Driver stepped in and White went off on producers for putting him with a “stupid partner.” Then, Mark Ballas got involved and, after White got in his face as well, producers had to step in before things got physical. Although he threatened to never return, Johnson and White patched things up long enough until they were eliminated in week six.
2. Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Hope Solo
Maksim Chmerkovskiy has always been a fan favorite pro on the series, but his reputation has been known to include a less than warm attitude, and that was matched with the well-known attitude of U.S. soccer player Hope Solo. To say the pair did not get along would be a gross understatement and their partnership is perhaps the worst in the show’s history when they were put together in 2011’s season 13. The pair’s rehearsal tapes showed a lot of fighting, but a year later Solo wrote in her memoir that Maks had actually slapped her during rehearsals. He denied the allegations and in 2015 during an interview he played a fame of “F–k, Marry, Kill” and didn’t hesitate in saying, “And I would definitely kill Hope Solo.” He went on, “She’s just a sh–ty person. People can be bad or good or whatever. You can have a sh–ty life growing up. You can have a tough upbringing. You can have a history. You can have whatever. But, if you are just a bad person, you know what I mean? There’s no excuse for that.” Unfortunately, the pair had to work together much longer than others who don’t get along and danced their way into fourth place.
1. Cheryl Burke and Ian Ziering
Even some of the best partners on the show end up in a fight or two with tempers flaring, but fans know things were bad when the two come off the show still talking about one another. Such was the case with Cheryl Burke and former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Ian Ziering. The pair teamed up together in season four in 2007, and nine years later, Burke still couldn’t get over the horrible experience. The pro had no trouble saying, “My least favorite partner would be Ian Ziering. The fact that his name is not EE-AN and its EYE-AN makes me want to throw up,” she said before explaining how bad working with him really was. “I was like crying to executives. I was like is there any way to please to just eliminate us?”